Does this sound like you?
"While watching TV late at
night or while doing my homework, I always seem to find myself munching on
a salty snack. I am still full from dinner...yet it always
seems to be the
same thing every night. I try to stop. It is too hard to change!"
If this sounds like you, you
may be overeating out of habit. You know that you eat for reasons other
than hunger. You may have even figured out the feelings that trigger you
to overeat. Now what? How do you break the habit? Read on for some clues
to get you started.
Make a journal to jot down whenever you eat out
of habit. Maybe it is while
you are on the phone or computer. Maybe it is late at night or after
school. Or, maybe it is just on the weekends.
Use the information from above to plan
activities or fun things to do. Keep your mind distracted so your habit
will not pop into it! You may come home from your activity proud that you
did not even miss your regular snack!
Make a new rule: you can only eat at the
kitchen table. You must also be sitting down. This rule can make it harder
for you to follow through with the overeating habit.
Keep certain habit foods out of the house. Ask
your family to not buy them or keep them around. If you cannot get them to
do that, tell them to hide the foods from you.
Keep plenty of nutrient dense low calorie snack
food around. Some to try
pre-cut baby carrots and celery with salsa. Keep these foods in the very
front of the fridge. When you go to do your overeating habit, you will see
If you like to eat in front of the TV, keep
plenty of books, puzzles, and hand games for you to grab instead. If you
can keep your mind busy you may
not remember to get your habit snack.
Keep a food journal. This can help you to
remember you do not need the food just because. Writing the food down can
help you not want to eat it.
Plan to go on a walk or bike ride when you
usually eat out of habit.
Make a new rule: for every TV commercial, see
how many jumping jacks you can do.
Always have a bottle of water or flavored water
around. Try to change your mind to get in the habit of drinking instead of
Be patient! It can take 20 to 30 days to form a
new habit. Remember, you have had this overeating habit for a long time.
It will take time to change.
P.S. The overeating habit is similar to the
habit of biting your nails - both are ways of relieving tension.
How do you stop biting your nails? You hide the nails under gloves
or bitter nail polish, and you find better ways of relieving tension,
like walking. Thus to break the overeating habit, hide the junk
food or better yet don't have it in your house, and... take lots of
Make this a healthy
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Please ask your
healthcare provider if these tips are right for you and please read our disclaimer.